From up in the air the view is already magnificent: a large urban patchwork quilt, as far as the eye can see….there’s no end to it! The largest city on the western hemisphere, the largest Spanish speaking city in the world…. Over 22 million inhabitants, at least that’s the official count: welcome to Mexico City!

During the taxi ride to my Local Hideaway there’s so much to see I simply don’t know where to look…it’s such an anthill and the contrast between poor and rich is fascinating. The drive ends at the foot of the beautiful Alameda Park –right in the centre – one of the city’s green lungs. Bordering this park is a beautifully renovated art deco building, on the top floor of which is my Local Hideaway: Chaya Bed &Breakfast.

It’s such a cool place! And a quiet oasis compared to the hustle and bustle outside. I’m completely taken in by this beautiful Art Deco Barrio Alameda building, where small, artistic, young companies, shops, bars and restaurants create a real urban melting pot – and Chaya B&B fits right in and is the proverbial cherry on top. Only 11 rooms, varying form large suites to small standard rooms, with a large rain shower. There’s even a master suite with fancy roll-top bath! This is the place to be! The design is minimalist, with some ironic touches (those bath slippers!!!) and very comfortable. Travellers from all around the world – whether young or old – feel right at home here, which is further enhanced by the enthusiastic and friendly owners and staff. It’s not pretentiously hip in any way but genuine and contemporary. My room is comfortable and offers a great place to stay for my 48 hours in Mexico City. The outdoor space (roof) is actually a relaxed hammock-hangout and the common long table in the breakfast room is a great place to start the day and make plans while enjoying a lovely breakfast (which is included, by the way). For drinks or dinner with a view take the stairs up to the amazing rooftop bar/restaurant – La Azotea – with a killer view of the Alameda Park and city.

And then it’s time to get to know this bustling metropolitan! Chaya B&B is a perfect starting point, with many highlights within walking distance. And what’s more, in this an area it is entirely safe to walk the streets alone. The exciting mix of old and new is arresting: classical buildings that are (being) renovated beautifully vs. a new and trendy cosmopolitan wave that brings modern restaurants, bars, street art etc. into the city. The rich Mexican cultural history is a real must on any to-do list. For instance, Mexico City is rich with museums and, personally, I was very impressed with the enormous murals by Diego Rivera – street art before the term existed. But there is more, so much more!!! Don’t forget to go to the foodstalls in Calle Lopéz for some of the best tacos in the city – my mouth still waters at the thought of them and they cost next to nothing! And for the rest, wander around, have a cup of coffee in one the many local coffee bars, sit down on a park bench for a while and watch local life go by….let all your senses be stimulated by this fascinating city!

And when you’ve had enough of all the chaos and impressions, it is lovely coming home to Chaya B&B… buenas noches amigos, hasta la proxima!

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